Teach English in South America

a world of opportunities

Join a global community of over 200,000 TEFL teachers working throughout the world! Enrol me!

Kirsten Colquhoun
July 18, 2023

Contents

Why teach English?
Best places to teach
How to qualify
Types of jobs
How to get a job
Average salary
Cost of living

Miles of untouched white beaches? Lost treasures in ancient Mayan temples? Samba-filled streets? Sweeping tropical forests filled with exotic wildlife? What doesn’t teaching English in South America bring with it?!

South America offers travellers an unparalleled opportunity to immerse themselves in diverse cultures and some of the most stunning natural landscapes on the planet. From Colombia to Chile, the continent is dominated by the mountainous terrains of the Andes, tropical climates, and the influence of Spanish, Portuguese and French settlers has given each of its countries unique and rich identities of their own over the years. 

Eager to jump into your teaching career and uncover all the possibilities South America has to offer? Join us in our guide where we’ll run you through everything there is to know about teaching English in South America! From the key requirements, how to find employment to the lifestyle and culture you can expect – we have you covered! 

Why start teaching English in South America?

Good news! South America has become one of the fastest-growing TEFL destinations over the past few years as more and more of its countries embrace tourists from all four corners of the globe. Here are some of the biggest pulls the region has to offer: 

  • Growing market: South America is one of the fastest-growing and untouched TEFL markets, meaning it represents a huge opportunity to skip over the competition in Asia or Europe. 
  • Travel opportunities: there are 12 countries in South America and more than 400 million people. Not only is that a huge potential market, but also an incredible opportunity to experience some of the most striking and diverse countries on the planet.
  • Develop yourself: South America is a continent that will push your personal and professional development to the limit, offering a unique and enriching opportunity. 
  • Varied options: the growing demand for TEFL teachers has led to a diverse range of job opportunities emerging across South America. Whether it’s part-time or full-time, private, public or volunteer work – there are plenty of different jobs available.

Overall, South America is a continent that will make you feel like you are on the adventure of a lifetime. The job market is booming, the students are eager to welcome you and all the potential destinations that house some of the most picturesque and ancient wonders of the world! 

Best places to teach English in South America

The biggest problem many TEFL teachers looking to teach English in South America have is deciding where to go! Do you want to experience the lively, night-long fiestas in Brazil? Trek across the mystical ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru? Or unwind on untouched blinding beaches across Ecuador? English teaching jobs across South America offer something for everyone looking for the perfect working abroad experience! Here are some of our highlights: 

Brazil

Best for food, footie and festivals

Carnivals, samba-soaked streets, stunning natural landscapes and an insatiable love for the beautiful game – Brazil is a lively country with an incredible cultural heritage. What’s more, increasing business ties have meant jobs teaching English have become bountiful! 

Argentina

Best for those looking for a calmer experience

Argentina is renowned for its culture and cafe life. Its coloured houses, famous dances and famous vineyards represent a charming cultural experience. Argentina is also one of the most accessible TEFL destinations, with most jobs not requiring a Bachelor’s degree. 

Chile

Best for nature lovers

From the towering Andes to pristine beaches, the longest country in the world has some of the most wondrous views any nature lover could ever hope to see. Its natural beauty has also combined with plenty of job opportunities in recent years! 

How do I qualify to teach English in South America?

South America is one of the most accessible job markets for those looking to teach English abroad. And whilst the requirements vary from country to country, here are some of the key things you may want to pick up: 

  • A Bachelor’s degree: though some positions might ask for a Bachelor’s degree, South American TEFL jobs generally do not require one.
  • A TEFL/TESOL certification: TEFL or TESOL certification is usually a key requirement for most jobs in the region. 
  • Prior teaching experience: prior teaching experience can be a huge advantage when applying for jobs. 
  • Native or near-native proficiency in English: being a native English speaker can also be a huge advantage, but most jobs will be satisfied with you having a high level of proficiency. 
  • Visa requirements: To work legally as an English teacher in South America, you will often need a work visa. Make sure to research before you jet off! 

Types of English teaching jobs in South America

South America has opened up as one of the most exciting new markets for teaching English abroad. Opportunities for English teachers include language schools, private international academies, volunteering programmes and even private tutoring

  • Classroom teacher: There are opportunities to work as an English teacher in South American schools and academies. Both young and adult learners can be students here. 
  • Tutor: Private tutoring is a popular alternative for English teachers. These roles will see a teacher work one-to-one with students or families. 
  • Volunteer: volunteering has emerged as one of the best ways of teaching abroad and giving something back to those in need. Some rural areas of South America have been deprived of good education, so you’ll be making a real difference to those who need it! 

And that isn’t even going into how teaching English online can be a great way of educating those in the region, or taking your TEFL career with you wherever you go! 

How to get teaching jobs in South America

Naturally, big urban cities in South America such as Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Buenos Aires in Argentina, or Santiago in Chile house the most teaching jobs for TEFL teachers. Despite this, lesser-known rural areas are starting to expand their appetite for English tutoring and provide a more relaxing experience teaching abroad. 

Here’s how you can go about getting a teaching job in South America:

  1. Research: start by researching the types of jobs you might be interested in and the countries you want to work in. 
  2. Application: make sure your CV and Resume are personalised and sell your passion for teaching English! 
  3. Applying: send as many applications as you want – better to send too many than not enough!  
  4. Paperwork: check in with your employers to see how they will be able to assist you with your work visa and other documents you may need.

Remember, the key behind any job hunt is perseverance and patience! 

Want to stand out from the competition? Our 168-hour TEFL course is the perfect qualification for developing your skills in the classroom and showcasing your passion for teaching to prospective employers. 

What is the average teacher salary in South America?

Compared to regions like the Middle East, South America doesn’t always offer the best opportunities for lining your pockets. Most countries only offer salaries that will see you hover around the break-even mark, though there is the possibility your employer will assist you with flight and accommodation costs. 

In short, teaching opportunities across South America are as diverse as the region is. The average TEFL salary in South America ranges from $500 – $1,300 USD, making it a slightly less lucrative market than other destinations for those looking to teach English abroad. 

Teaching salaries vary depending on the position, your qualifications and prior experience. Here are some rough average teacher salaries from across South America: 

  • Brazil: $500 – $800 a month.
  • Argentina: $150 – $235 a month. 
  • Chile: $500 – $1,000 a month
  • Peru: $305 – $615 a month

What is the cost of living in South American countries?

South America’s cost of living is significantly lower than the vast majority of the Western world, however. This means, with a little bit of savvy saving, you can still ensure a comfortable lifestyle teaching English in South America. 

Depending on your location, the cost of living as a single person in South America could be up to $800 – $2,000 a month.

Here are some estimates of what monthly expenses (rent, utilities, food, transportation and health care) could come up to across South America:

  • Brazil: $1,100 a month
  • Argentina: $460 a month
  • Chile $740 a month
  • Peru: $2,000 a month

It should be remembered that these are just estimates, and there are always ways of stretching your finances out further depending on your lifestyle. 

Contents

Miles of untouched white beaches? Lost treasures in ancient Mayan temples? Samba-filled streets? Sweeping tropical forests filled with exotic wildlife? What doesn’t teaching English in South America bring with it?!

South America offers travellers an unparalleled opportunity to immerse themselves in diverse cultures and some of the most stunning natural landscapes on the planet. From Colombia to Chile, the continent is dominated by the mountainous terrains of the Andes, tropical climates, and the influence of Spanish, Portuguese and French settlers has given each of its countries unique and rich identities of their own over the years. 

Eager to jump into your teaching career and uncover all the possibilities South America has to offer? Join us in our guide where we’ll run you through everything there is to know about teaching English in South America! From the key requirements, how to find employment to the lifestyle and culture you can expect – we have you covered! 

Why start teaching English in South America?

Good news! South America has become one of the fastest-growing TEFL destinations over the past few years as more and more of its countries embrace tourists from all four corners of the globe. Here are some of the biggest pulls the region has to offer: 

  • Growing market: South America is one of the fastest-growing and untouched TEFL markets, meaning it represents a huge opportunity to skip over the competition in Asia or Europe. 
  • Travel opportunities: there are 12 countries in South America and more than 400 million people. Not only is that a huge potential market, but also an incredible opportunity to experience some of the most striking and diverse countries on the planet.
  • Develop yourself: South America is a continent that will push your personal and professional development to the limit, offering a unique and enriching opportunity. 
  • Varied options: the growing demand for TEFL teachers has led to a diverse range of job opportunities emerging across South America. Whether it’s part-time or full-time, private, public or volunteer work – there are plenty of different jobs available.

Overall, South America is a continent that will make you feel like you are on the adventure of a lifetime. The job market is booming, the students are eager to welcome you and all the potential destinations that house some of the most picturesque and ancient wonders of the world! 

Best places to teach English in South America

The biggest problem many TEFL teachers looking to teach English in South America have is deciding where to go! Do you want to experience the lively, night-long fiestas in Brazil? Trek across the mystical ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru? Or unwind on untouched blinding beaches across Ecuador? English teaching jobs across South America offer something for everyone looking for the perfect working abroad experience! Here are some of our highlights: 

Brazil

Best for food, footie and festivals

Carnivals, samba-soaked streets, stunning natural landscapes and an insatiable love for the beautiful game – Brazil is a lively country with an incredible cultural heritage. What’s more, increasing business ties have meant jobs teaching English have become bountiful! 

Argentina

Best for those looking for a calmer experience

Argentina is renowned for its culture and cafe life. Its coloured houses, famous dances and famous vineyards represent a charming cultural experience. Argentina is also one of the most accessible TEFL destinations, with most jobs not requiring a Bachelor’s degree. 

Chile

Best for nature lovers

From the towering Andes to pristine beaches, the longest country in the world has some of the most wondrous views any nature lover could ever hope to see. Its natural beauty has also combined with plenty of job opportunities in recent years! 

How do I qualify to teach English in South America?

South America is one of the most accessible job markets for those looking to teach English abroad. And whilst the requirements vary from country to country, here are some of the key things you may want to pick up: 

  • A Bachelor’s degree: though some positions might ask for a Bachelor’s degree, South American TEFL jobs generally do not require one.
  • A TEFL/TESOL certification: TEFL or TESOL certification is usually a key requirement for most jobs in the region. 
  • Prior teaching experience: prior teaching experience can be a huge advantage when applying for jobs. 
  • Native or near-native proficiency in English: being a native English speaker can also be a huge advantage, but most jobs will be satisfied with you having a high level of proficiency. 
  • Visa requirements: To work legally as an English teacher in South America, you will often need a work visa. Make sure to research before you jet off! 

Types of English teaching jobs in South America

South America has opened up as one of the most exciting new markets for teaching English abroad. Opportunities for English teachers include language schools, private international academies, volunteering programmes and even private tutoring

  • Classroom teacher: There are opportunities to work as an English teacher in South American schools and academies. Both young and adult learners can be students here. 
  • Tutor: Private tutoring is a popular alternative for English teachers. These roles will see a teacher work one-to-one with students or families. 
  • Volunteer: volunteering has emerged as one of the best ways of teaching abroad and giving something back to those in need. Some rural areas of South America have been deprived of good education, so you’ll be making a real difference to those who need it! 

And that isn’t even going into how teaching English online can be a great way of educating those in the region, or taking your TEFL career with you wherever you go! 

How to get teaching jobs in South America

Naturally, big urban cities in South America such as Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Buenos Aires in Argentina, or Santiago in Chile house the most teaching jobs for TEFL teachers. Despite this, lesser-known rural areas are starting to expand their appetite for English tutoring and provide a more relaxing experience teaching abroad. 

Here’s how you can go about getting a teaching job in South America:

  1. Research: start by researching the types of jobs you might be interested in and the countries you want to work in. 
  2. Application: make sure your CV and Resume are personalised and sell your passion for teaching English! 
  3. Applying: send as many applications as you want – better to send too many than not enough!  
  4. Paperwork: check in with your employers to see how they will be able to assist you with your work visa and other documents you may need.

Remember, the key behind any job hunt is perseverance and patience! 

Want to stand out from the competition? Our 168-hour TEFL course is the perfect qualification for developing your skills in the classroom and showcasing your passion for teaching to prospective employers. 

What is the average teacher salary in South America?

Compared to regions like the Middle East, South America doesn’t always offer the best opportunities for lining your pockets. Most countries only offer salaries that will see you hover around the break-even mark, though there is the possibility your employer will assist you with flight and accommodation costs. 

In short, teaching opportunities across South America are as diverse as the region is. The average TEFL salary in South America ranges from $500 – $1,300 USD, making it a slightly less lucrative market than other destinations for those looking to teach English abroad. 

Teaching salaries vary depending on the position, your qualifications and prior experience. Here are some rough average teacher salaries from across South America: 

  • Brazil: $500 – $800 a month.
  • Argentina: $150 – $235 a month. 
  • Chile: $500 – $1,000 a month
  • Peru: $305 – $615 a month

What is the cost of living in South American countries?

South America’s cost of living is significantly lower than the vast majority of the Western world, however. This means, with a little bit of savvy saving, you can still ensure a comfortable lifestyle teaching English in South America. 

Depending on your location, the cost of living as a single person in South America could be up to $800 – $2,000 a month.

Here are some estimates of what monthly expenses (rent, utilities, food, transportation and health care) could come up to across South America:

  • Brazil: $1,100 a month
  • Argentina: $460 a month
  • Chile $740 a month
  • Peru: $2,000 a month

It should be remembered that these are just estimates, and there are always ways of stretching your finances out further depending on your lifestyle. 

Download our TEFL Factbook

We have created a unique TEFL World Factbook of teaching abroad guides in over 100 countries to help TEFL teachers decide where in the world to teach English. Each country profile outlines everything a TEFL teacher would need to know including average pay, living costs, working environments and even the weather!

Download TEFL Factbook
  • what is border hopping
    Resources

    Border Hopping And Visa Runs: What You Need To Know

    james
  • The TEFL Academy to launch EFL broadcast into space
    Resources

    English To Be Universal Lingua Franca With EFL Space Broadcast

    Kirsten Colquhoun
  • Easter EFL classroom activities
    Teacher's Toolkit

    Easter around the World: Easter Classroom Activities For The EFL Classroom

    Kirsten Colquhoun
  • The 10 happiest countries in the world
    Teach and Travel

    The 10 Happiest Countries In The World To Teach In

    Kirsten Colquhoun
  • Resources

    Common English Mistakes Even Teachers Make

    Kirsten Colquhoun
  • Teach and Travel

    Free Airport WiFi Passwords For Every Airport Around The World On A Single Map

    Kirsten Colquhoun

Product added to your cart

You have added to your cart:

Request call back

    Please leave your details below and one of our TEFL experts will get back to you ASAP:

    captchaType characters on the left:

    Would you like us to update you on TEFL opportunities, jobs and related products & services?

    Yes, keep me updatedNo, but thanks anyway!

    Thank you! Your message has been sent!

    Download the TEFL World Factbook

      Please enter your details in order to download the latest TEFL World Factbook.

      Would you like us to update you on TEFL opportunities, jobs and related products & services?

      Yes, keep me updatedNo, but thanks anyway!

      Thank you for downloading the TEFL World Factbook!

      If the TEFL World Factbook did not download
      > Click Here To Download <

      Download the Online Teaching Guide

        Please enter your details in order to download our Online Teaching Guide.

        Would you like us to update you on TEFL opportunities, jobs and related products & services?

        Yes, keep me updatedNo, but thanks anyway!

        Thank you for downloading our Online Teaching Guide!

        If the Online Teaching Guide did not download
        > Click Here To Download <

        Download Prospectus

          Please enter your details in order to download our latest prospectus.

          Would you like us to update you on TEFL opportunities, jobs and related products & services?

          Yes, keep me updatedNo, but thanks anyway!

          Thank you for downloading our prospectus!

          We hope you enjoy reading our prospectus, we have tried to make it as useful as possible! Please get in touch if you have any questions.

          If the prospectus did not download automatically
          > Click Here To Download <

          $
          $

          Subscribe To Personalized Notifications

          You are subscribing to jobs matching your current search criteria.

          Email Notifications

          Email notifications will be sent to you Subscribe

           

          Custom RSS Feed

          Your personalized RSS Feed is below, copy the address to your RSS reader.
          Subscribe